Writing Progress: Week Ending September 3, 2011
It was another unspectacular week on the writing front:
Story of G:
- New Draft Wordcount: 392 net new words
- Other Notes Wordcount: 0 words
Book of M:
- Background Notes Wordcount: 0 words
Grand Total: 392 words
It was a tough week, time-wise. I lost a whole writing day to the day job. That happens, sometimes. You’ve got a big project, and it’s due before you leave, and people are depending on you. And sometimes you don’t find out it’s due today until you get in that morning and see it in your e-mail. I love my job right now, but love it or not, late days can be emotionally and mentally exhausting. It’s a good exhaustion – one of knowing you’ve done something important – but it’s hard to sit down and write when that happens. And if it’s late enough, you don’t really have time anyway – there’s just enough to eat a late dinner and go to bed. And there was also a bit of the more usual personal time with family and Dear Wife. If I’m going to lose free time to work, it comes out of writing time first, not family time – and in fact sometimes when that happens you have to redouble your family time (which means even less writing time) because that’s how you recuperate.
This week I didn’t work at all on “The Book of M”: I focused exclusively on “Story of G”. Editing, as it turns out, is slower than writing. When you’re writing you’re not going back and double-checking when you’ve written or making sure it makes sense. You’re not worried about “word echoes” or the quality of the prose. You’re worried about the story and about the characters and about getting the feel right. All that comes out in the writing. But when you’re editing, you’re at a different level.
As I’m editing, I am writing new material, as exhibited by the net non-zero wordcount for the week. I’ll write a short bit to add description or depth. I’ll add a facial expression to better capture a character’s emotions. Or I’ll change some bit to clarify my intention, or add some internal monologue. But much of the time I spend rereading what I’ve written and thinking about how it fits with the greater story, or consulting my notes on my editing plan, or reviewing comments from first readers, or doing word-for-word replacements. So there’s a lot of work going on in the background that doesn’t manifest as wordcount.
I’m proud to say that I’m about a little more than half-way through the revision and editing of “Story of G”. If I can keep it up, I should definitely be able to finish it in time for a September 30th deadline for the current quarter of the Writers of the Future contest. I feel really good about this story. My last story – about a year ago – was an honorable mention, but I feel that this story is better. We’ll see. I’m contemplating whether I need another round of reads and edits after I finish this, just to make sure it’s as polished as it can be… but I’m leaning toward just doing a quick clean-up read myself just to make sure the prose is clean and that I’ve dotted my i’s and crossed my t’s, so to speak.
As for “Book of M”… well… today was my “deadline” to finish my backstory and pre-plotting work. And I’m way off from that. I’d switched over from a “writing the history of the world” method to an “outlining the history of the world” method, but I never really got to see what I could do with that before I switched gears into “Story of G”. That, and I still have to write out character bios and other details, as well as a decent outline of the book itself. That’s my general plan going forward: finish some outline of the history, write character bios (so far I have 2 written) and then outline the book. Luckily for me, Dear Wife has extended my deadline through Columbus Day. Hurrah! I’m confident I can make it by Columbus Day. I’m probably not going to finish the book, as a whole, in the year timeframe I’d set for myself from when I first started (in late May), but hopefully I won’t be but a month or two late – so here’s aiming for the end of July 2012!
How was your writing week?